[Published in Friday Flash Fiction, November 18, 2022]
My grandmother wore a hairpiece wrapped in a large bun on the crown of her head. Once, at Disneyland, she joined me on Thunder Mountain, a rickety rollercoaster ride. As we rounded a bend, her hairpiece flew off her head. She leaped, lunged, and snatched it in midair! Breathless, clutching her prize, her blushing face glowed with victory. It didn't occur to me that she might have felt humiliated. At twenty, I hadn't seen her bald head in years, but she never looked more beautiful than she did that day, exploding with laughter and relief. We celebrated with ice cream.
Letter to Isadora Duncan
[Published in The Dribble Drabble Review, Fall 2022, Issue VI]
Your elderly brothers lived upstairs, in my grandmother’s Astoria apartment building. As a child, my mother feared them. Crotchety, they kept to themselves, while you shared your soul with the world. When you died, Gertrude Stein said, “Affectations can be dangerous.”Affectation? You rejected ballet’s fairytales, choosing instead to reveal the truth. You spurned tutus and toe shoes and danced in flowing garments and bare feet. The night of the Astoria fire—you and your brothers long gone—we huddled on the sidewalk in flannel PJ’s. I like to imagine you were there, dancing your truth beyond siren and flame.
[Published in The Drabble, October 21, 2022]
A couple of years into therapy, long forgotten—and disturbing—early childhood memories surface. They are dream-like, hazy, scary, and unreal. As if I imagined them. Or as if I lived them in another life. One day, three thousand miles away, I work up the nerve to question my mother over the telephone: “Do you remember Daddy’s temper? How he’d lock you out of your bedroom while he beat me with his belt? I expect a cold, hard no, but instead, silence creeps over the line, and then, in a sad and tender voice, Mom whispers, “You were so little.”
[Published in Friday Flash Fiction, September 9, 2022]
“How’d you like to work at the Playboy Club?” he asked as I served his vodka martini. He handed me his business card embossed with bunny logo, his name, and title: Operations Manager. Paying his bill, he whipped out a gold money clip, peeled off a hundred-dollar bill, and said, “Keep the change.” I met him for dinner to discuss my interview with the Bunny Mother. Later, he lured me to his apartment and pounced. I kicked him in the balls and fled. The next day, when I called the club to register a complaint, nobody had heard of him.